Head of UN agency defending press freedom deplores killing of Pakistani journalist

26 February 2010The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending the freedom of the press today deplored the killing of Pakistani journalist, Ashiq Ali Mangi, who may have been targeted for his coverage of a local feud between two ethnic groups. “Attacks against journalists constitute a serious and unacceptable threat to democracy, which is based on the fundamental human right of freedom of expression,” said Irina Bokova, Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).“I welcome the statement by Pakistani authorities that the murder would be investigated thoroughly with the culprits brought to justice,” Ms. Bokova, added noting that for such crimes to go unpunished undermines respect for human rights and the rule of law. The 30-year-old Mr. Mangi, who was murdered on 17 February, was a reporter for the private television channel Mehran TV. He was reportedly riding his motorcycle on the way to the Khairpur Press Club in the town of Gambat, north of Karachi, when two unidentified men shot him and then fled the scene, according to local news reports. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Pakistan was the fourth deadliest country in the world for journalists in 2009.